To build well, and to do so at a low price, is always desirable; and to build artistically, imposingly, attractively, does not imply elaborate finish or profuse ornament. Sand paper and decoration will never make an ill-proportioned building attractive to an educated taste, while a rough exterior of harmonious lines and forms will pass current with those who have an eye for the artistic.

One of the most important lessons that the art student learns is that of effect; that effects can not be produced by smoothly finished surfaces or details; and that in architecture, as well as in sculpture or painting, there must be a strong, bold manner of execution, when there is a desire to convey an impression of strength or power.

Where stone is conveniently obtained as a building material, its use in rural architecture deserves far more consideration than is usually bestowed on it; and in its unchiselled, quarried form it becomes desirable in an economical point of view. There is an imposing grandeur in the unhewn stone that asserts its presence in both near and distant views, and, with the proper combinations of proportion, and light and shade, will illustrate the finest architectural effects. Prevailing prejudices are too apt to consider it not only cheap, but inferior in protection and durability to finely wrought surfaces and smooth, close-fitting joints, we are too apt to estimate the value and beauty of a stone house by the amount of labor lavished on its exterior, as if the chisel possessed the power to make the joints more impenetrable, and bestowed an endurance commensurate with the story of expense that it tells. So long as we build well and honestly, with a proper regard to protection from the weather, in a substantial and workmanlike manner, good taste and sound sense will uphold the use of quarried rock, and discover a permanent strength and power in this Cyclopean masonry that elaborately finished surfaces and delicately wrought ornaments fail to express.

Dressed in squared blocks and hammered lines, stone becomes an expensive building material, and preference is then given to something else less costly; but if used in its quarried form, irregular in size and shape, it becomes, wherever conveniently obtained, among the economical materials used for building, and is unsurpassed for its impressiveness and durability. No paint is required to preserve it from the weather, and no color is so good as the color of the stone; time softens its tints, and the clambering vine that lays hold of the massive walls is a decoration beyond the resources of architecture.

"If a building," says Mr. Ruskin, "be under the mark of average magnitude, it is not in our power to increase its apparent size by any proportionate diminution in the scale of its masonry; but it may be often in our power to give it a certain nobility by building it of massy stones, or, at all events, introducing such into its make. Thus it is impossible that there should ever be majesty in a cottage built of brick; but there is a marked element of sublimity in the rude and irregular piling of the rocky walls of the mountain cottages of Wales, Cumberland, and Scotland.

"And if the nobility of this confessed and natural masonry were more commonly felt, we should not lose the dignity of it by smoothing surfaces and fitting joints. The sums which we waste in chiselling and polishing stones, which would have been better left as they came from the quarry, would often raise a building a story higher".

"There is also a magnificence in the natural cleavage of the stone to which the art must indeed be great, that pretends to be equivalent; and a stern expression of brotherhood with the mountain heart from which it has been rent, ill-exchanged for a glistering obedience to the rule and measure of men. His eye must be delicate indeed who would desire to see the Pitti Palace polished".

[To all of which we give a hearty endorsement. There are sections of country where people ought to be prohibited by law from building of any material except stone; stone, too, unmarred by the finish of a chisel. Take, for example, some locality like that of the western slope of the Palisades, and how grandly a stone house harmonizes with the surrounding scenery. Even an uneducated taste must here acknowledge the unfitness of wood or brick; if for no other reason, simply because of their tameness in the midst of such a scene. In some places, they have a pretty effect; here, Nature's grandeur belittles them. Stone, on the contrary, not only harmonises with Nature's handiwork, but possesses grandeur, massiveness, and even picturesqueness to a degree that must impress even the rudest mind. That stone has also its economical claims in this connection we hope soon to prove, unless Cognosco will retain the field, and do it for us. - Ed].